Award-winning actress, author, teen mentor, talk show host, comedienne and public speaker, Lydia Cornell grew up in America’s living rooms. An international celebrity best known for her starring role as the daughter of TV legend Ted Knight (The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Caddyshack) in the hit ABC series Too Close for Comfort, Cornell was one of the most popular sex symbols of the 80’s, playing virginal blonde bombshell cheerleader Sara Rush. The series airs daily on Tribune Broadcasting’s new channel Antenna TV. Recent credits include: HBO's Curb Your Enthusiasm;
Triumph over Tragedy
Lydia Cornell is a women and children’s advocate, and an inspirational speaker on teen suicide prevention, domestic violence, Osteogenesis Imperfecta (brittle bone disease) — as well as on drug, alcohol and Adderall abuse.
"Raising a child with brittle bone disease has been one of the most precious gifts of my life!" she says of her wonderful stepson.
Lydia endured a shattering personal tragedy when she found her younger brother’s body after a drug overdose. Sober now for 17 years, she speaks to recovery groups of up to 300 or more. She has done over 170 speaking engagements. Her talks are laced with poignant stories of transformation with an innate sense of humor and comic timing.
She spoke at Texas A&M for Domestic Violence Prevention KTAL 6 and has hosted two documentaries for Safe Passage Home.org — an organization that gives extreme life makeovers to victims of domestic abuse — which will be shown on Oxygen network. Last fall she housed several abuse victims and cared for their children throughout the school year. With the help of the police, Cornell helped rescue a battered woman, Cheri Hall Cramer, from a predator. The woman had been hit in the head with the claw-end of a hammer and left for dead. After recovering from a brain aneurysm, she is finally getting her life back on track. But because of her injuries, she was left destitute and literally "thrown away" by her husband, who has made it impossible for her to ever visit her children again. All she wants is to see her precious children, whom she has not seen in years. Justice must prevail.
Cornell speaks at high schools, hospitals, and women’s centers on overcoming grief, unemployment, sexism, ageism, depression, self-sabotage, obnoxious teenagers — and every imaginable hardship. Her talks are laced with poignant stories of transformation with an innate sense of comic timing. “If you can laugh at yourself you probably won’t kill yourself.”
Cornell’s triumph over tragedy, depression and addiction was the result of a ‘catastrophic spiritual awakening.’ “There is a reason so many celebrities are in rehab these days,” she says. Her experiences in overcoming a string of failures and humiliations inspired her to assist others with their own demons.
A mother of boys, she has been raising teenagers (and their girlfriends, who confide in her about the most troulesome things, on a daily basis.) “I have three boys and two dogs, including my husband, and they’re all going through puberty.” She also is a teen mentor and has a site for troubled teens called “The Answer Room.” She had an epiphany: ”Teenagers are not nice people,” she jokes. “But I think the Universe makes them into jerks so we don’t miss them so much when they’re gone! Or when they’re finally old enough to leave home.”
About Lydia Cornell
Award-winning actress, author, teen mentor, talk show host, comedienne and public speaker, Lydia Cornell grew up in America’s living rooms. An international celebrity best known for her starring role as the daughter of TV legend Ted Knight (The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Caddyshack) in the hit ABC series Too Close for Comfort, Cornell was one of the most popular sex symbols of the 80’s, playing virginal blonde bombshell cheerleader Sara Rush. The series airs daily on Tribune Broadcasting’s new channel Antenna TV.
• Currently in talks with Dancing with the Stars, AFI Best Actress nominee, People's Choice Award winner, and star of over 250 TV shows and films and episodes worldwide, Lydia Cornell was recently on HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm; The Kelsey Grammer Comedy Hour; Variety’s Power of Comedy honoring Russell Brand; and movies with Robert Downey, Jr., Steven Tyler, Jon Bon Jovi, and The Mentalist’s Amanda Rhigetti. Classic credits include: Full House, Knight Rider, A-Team, Dukes of Hazzard, Hunter, Quantum Leap, Love Boat (5) Hotel (2); T.J.Hooker, Simon & Simon, Charlie’s Angels; Hardball; The Red Tide with Oscar winners James Earl Jones and Jose Ferrer and Lila Kedrova.
This year Lydia has worked with the Red Cross, Firefighters, Autism Awareness, and High Hopes — Pat Boone’s charity for traumatic spinal cord injury. She recently hosted a documentary for Safe Passage Home, an organization that gives extreme life makeovers to victims of domestic violence, for viewing on Oxygen network. Last fall she housed domestic abuse victims and cared for their children throughout the school year. With the help of the police, Cornell helped rescue a battered woman from a predator.
A mother of boys, she has been raising teenagers (and their girlfriends, who confide in her about the most horrifying things, on a daily basis.) “I had three boys and two dogs, including my husband, and they were all going through puberty at the same time. Until my husband left me for Gene Simmons. He went on the road with KISS. But only the good remains in a broken marriage.” She also did charity events with L.A. Team Mentoring (after school programs for underprivileged kids) and is developing a site for troubled teens called “The Answer Room.”
News and credits include:
• In Google's Top Trends Yahoo Finance News' Most Viewed News Stories
• TMZ: Lydia Cornell was the first celebrity profiled of 2010 on TMZ.
• Too Close for Comfort has been in worldwide syndication for over 25 years and recently began airing again on Tribune, WGN and in top markets nationwide.
• Received the USO Distinguished Service Award for Beirut war zone trip for troops.
• Known for her knife-sharp humor on HBO, in standup comedy concerts, and on morning-drive radio, Cornell has been called: “A fresh voice; one of the most original voices in America today.”
• Had a feud with Ann Coulter; interviewed Elizabeth Edwards and Sen. John Edwards.
• Interviewed Pulitzer Prize Winners, White House advisers, presidential candidates, Senators, Congressmen and women, and bestselling authors for her award-winning radio show
• Has written over 350 articles on politics, women’s issues, pop culture, spirituality, religion, sex, divorce.
• Wrote an international thriller on the Stalin’s plot to kill Trotsky.
• HBO's Curb Your Enthusiasm with Larry David
• Kelsey Grammer – Bill Zucker Comedy Hour with Scott Baio
• Variety’s Power of Comedy with Russell Brand, Justin Long, Helen Mirren; Garry Shandling, Sarah Silverman; Melissa Etheridge; Patton Oswalt; BJ. Novak; Aziz Ansari, Lake Bell, Donald Glover; Dylan McDermott; the cast of Outsourced, honoring Noreen Fraser Foundation for breast cancer research.
• Lydia costars with Robert Downey, Jr., Steven Tyler, Jon Bon Jovi, Cloris Leachman, Malcolm McDowell, and Gary Oldman in Dean Grakal’s indie Me, Miami and Nancy which just won The Park City Film Festival.
• Lydia co-stars in Director Jordan Alan’s Cats Dancing on Jupiter with The Mentalist’s Amanda Rhigetti, Ashley Hamilton, Richard Grieco, Keith Coogan
• She is in talks with Dancing with the Stars.
• Lydia Cornell's blog - a triple Koufax nominee for best writing, recipient of the Thinking Blogger Award and winner of the Freedom Award and three World Report Awards, is “a consistentlyought-provoking firecracker of pointed socio-political commentary and observant, caustic wit.” (Yahoo News.)
• Cornell has crashed, burned, and seen it all. She rose from the depths of suicidal despair in an astounding resurrection. Cornell's upcoming inspirational comic memoir is a story of having to play dumb to get ahead as a woman iood. It’s about falling apart, sliding and crashing headlong into humiliation in Hollywood, New York, Monte Carlo, Beirut and beyond. “It's about how I ruined my life, behaved like an idiot, crumbled from rejection — but against all odds, kept “falling up.”
• Author – book release in 2011 the first in a series to be produced for film and TV
• She did 22 speaking engagements 2008-2011 and spoke at Texas A&M on overcoming domestic violence and did a documentary for Safe Passage, a battered women’s shelter.
• Venus Conspiracy – written and directed by Lydia Cornell, costarring Deborah Van Valkenburgh, who played her sister on Too Close for Comfort
• Pain is Inevitable, Sex Optional – on stage in her original three-woman show
• Political Voices of Women Best Writing Awards ~ World Report Award, Thinking Blogger Award; Weblog Award and Double Koufax Nominee.
• Standup: Improv, Laugh Factory, Las Vegas at the Riviera, Sahara; opening for Paul Rodriguez at Pechanga 1500 seat theater
• Yahoo! Finance News: Lydia Cornell interviews World Leaders, Pulitzer Prize Winners, White House and Presidential Candidates for new Radio Show
• Radio Show Co-Host on KLAV 1250 AM morning drive Las Vegas' Entertainment talk show for 2 years.
• Founder of Comedy Dance Film Festival co-sponsored by Saturday Night Live alum Jon Lovitz, in conjunction with CityWalk Universal in 2011 (*TBA)
"Lydia Cornell is an award-winning actress, writer, comedienne, and talk-radio host best known for her role as "Sara Rush” - Ted Knight's dazzlingly beautiful yet stereotypically dumb blonde daughter on ABC's '80s hit sitcom, “Too Close for Comfort.” Lydia starred in over 250 TV shows & films including Curb Your Enthusiasm, Full House, Dukes of Hazzard, Knight Rider, A-Team, Hunter, Hardball, Hotel (2), Love Boat (6), Fantasy Island, T.J. Hooker and the pilot of the cult series Quantum Leap with Scott Bakula and Dean Stockwell. She signed hundreds of autographs at their convention earlier this year in Los Angeles. She co-starred with three Oscar winners James Earl Jones, Jose Ferrer and Lila Kedrova in The Red Tide, shot in the Greek Isles.
John Conley, a disabled Marine combat vet, sent her his Purple Heart for her courage in standing up to Ann Coulter's 'extermination speak'
Cornell is a Synesthete and has Synesthesia, artists, musicians and writers (including V. Nabokov, John Mayer and David Hockney) who see colors when hearing sounds, and see numbers and letters in color. The World Symposium on Synesthesia convened in Belgium last year.
Lydia stars in indie film “Damage Done; Happy Holidaze from the Joneses”